Solid

This was a straight-up, solid week. I’m not impressed with the quantity of workouts, but I am pleased with my nutrition and that I actually got out on more than two occasions to haul my tail around the block a few times. Tracking my food this week allowed me to see that I’m still eating within my allotted calorie allowances, that it’s allll good. I also learned that I can incorporate a lot more whole grain goodness into my diet. It’s also clear to me that something needs to shift, though. I’m exercising enough and eating little enough that mathematically I should be losing fat. But I’m not.
I was reading a book called Fat Chance recently, and while it was hyperbolic and shared a lot of scary evidence with pessimistic options for solutions, I liked one particular part that was talking about how a calorie is not a calorie. That the quality of the calorie matters greatly, too. When I reflectively notice that there are places where I could incorporate whole grains, I immediately light on this idea. That and salt. I need to lay off the salt.
***
Earlier in the week I was feeling really good. Like, do you ever have those moments when you start feeling extra cute and slender and like va va voom? Yeah. Like that. I hate it when I go from feeling gorgeous and glowing, to feeling super dumpy and chubby in the not good ways. Not curvy (which is good), but plump and roly-poly-fattish. I know it’s just my brain being a stinker, but I hate that. Grr. It’s not fun to look in the mirror and at every picture with a hyper critical eye. Bleh.
So today I had to be extra awesome. No, really:

20140531-153254-55974752.jpg

πŸ™‚
I was extra proud today. We woke up bright and early. I was not interested in a repeat of my Friday morning when there was no milk for the coffee, therefore Tamara did not get her coffee and was supremely grumpy as she headed to work… So I was laying in bed this morning and wondered aloud if I should ride my bike to the store to get milk. For my coffee. To stave off Grumpy Girl. I had all of these lovely, Parisian inspired images running through my head of milk in bottles and crusty loaves of fresh bread in my bike basket as I made my way over the cobblestone roads, beret perched slightly askew atop my pageboy cut… You get the idea.
Bradley was game, and except for the Parisian themed ridiculousness, we had a nice ride to and from the QFC by our house. It’s only two miles or so each way and I think we realized a new method of locomotion for the Lj’s to get around. Then, to prove my complete awesomeness, we also went for a run. It was only a couple of miles, but still- a bike ride and a run, allll before noon. Plus we cleaned out our garage, swam in our pool and moved a freezer. Before noon! I felt quite accomplished this morning! So accomplished, in fact, that I felt completely guiltless as I sat with a good friend of mine while we shared stories in the afternoon sun.
Whatta day. The best kind. πŸ™‚

Diary

20140529-190143.jpg

I know, I KNOW! I didn’t post a food diary yesterday! I know! So many of you tuned in, anxious to see what I ate, and I didn’t follow through. I’m sorry. Ok? If it makes you feel any better, I left my iPad at school yesterday and posting is hard without it. It was a shockingly difficult separation, my iPad and me. I was sooo glad to see it on my desk when I arrived at school this morning… Reunited!

20140529-190240.jpg
I’ve been a good kid both days. We’ve been practicing the 12 hour fast each night, as well, and I think that skipping eating after seven has been pretty helpful. Especially since I haven’t worked out either night.
As I’m looking at my diet, I’m seeing a whole lot of opportunity to add healthier choices. Each time I entered white rice on there I thought it should be brown. It should be noted, however, that we aren’t that branded. Somehow, everything in the app is branded- even arugula. Arugula is arugula, amiright?!
πŸ˜‰
*
It’s Camp Read A Lot in my classroom right now, and I am having the best time with my kids! This was today’s ‘craftivity’. I thought my sample turned out quite charming!

20140529-191042.jpg

The Many Faces of Mrs. L

20140527-201917.jpg

Yesterday we ran 3.7 miles. I set out to do around three, but I was quite surprised when all was said and done and we had gone that far. It didn’t feel like a really long distance! A three to four mile run, my run that is supposed to be my easy run, finally feels easy. That is a really good feeling and it shows me, quite clearly, that I am indeed making progress. The training is paying off!

20140527-201937.jpg
I made a promise to myself that I would use my food journal app this week in an effort to kick start some calorie deficiencies. Today I entered all of my data in and came 48 calories from my allowance! Talk about cutting it close! I’m posting these all week in an effort to hold myself accountable, so bear with me this week while I post one each and every day. Also, it should be noted that all of my snacks for the day ended up in my lunch. I didn’t eat 1000 calories of lunch. πŸ™‚

20140527-202441.jpg
This was just funny to me. I was having a rather animated conversation with a friend of mine while I was finishing up a late afternoon at work today. Clearly it needed to be punctuated with many goofy selfies and I captured some real beauties!

Obviously a really big news day.

s

New Running Record!

Every once in a while I get these big ideas that I know will scare my husband a little. At around six miles his knee gets a little sore, so he’s hesitant to push past 4-5 miles at a go, but hey! I’m training for the Disney Half Marathon here, I need to be pushing my mileage! You’re probably wondering what my big idea was, and it was just to run until I hit my limit. So often, I feel like I can just go forever if only I can sustain the boredom of really long runs, but I’ve been wondering how long I can really go until I’m tapped out. It turns out, six miles is my wall. I was going along pretty well, but after I’ve been running for a bit, sometimes my left hip aches and my groin ligaments hurt! Today was no exception, but, like when I first began to run, I decided to run through the pain. If I stop whenever it hurts I’ll never go again! I started aching at around 4.5 miles and at five I had to walk a hill, I was just so tired (at 11mph- I know- but still)! I ran until I hit a small hill right after our sixth mile, and I had to be done. So my wall is six miles. For now.. That, too, will definitely change in the very near future.

20140524-203110.jpg
***
We had eight girls sleeping over Friday night. It was pretty awesome. We let my daughter invite all the girls in her class and most of them came. My own parents used to let me have ‘just because’ slumber parties at random times throughout the year, so I didn’t think it was that big of a deal! But as each parent dropped off their daughter they commented on our bravery at having that many girls sleeping over. I started to worry, but as the evening wore on, I started seeing the character of the people my daughter has allied herself with. She has great taste in friends and I wouldn’t hesitate to invite them over again! This was Gigi’s first authentic big girl party. She realized, for the first time, that party games aren’t necessary. They had more fun dressing up in princess dresses and singing along to the Frozen soundtrack. They were the cutest group of 11 year olds that I have ever seen. πŸ™‚

d

Cowgirl Up

20140523-173648.jpg

I was rather enjoying my school’s cowboy themed day yesterday. I’ve never worn a cowboy hat and have never owned a pair of cowgirl boots. I’m thinking that needs to change. The boots, that is. I’m not sure a Seattlite who does not ride horses in any capacity should be sporting a cowboy hat while simultaneously be taken seriously. Or should I…?

20140523-174048.jpg
I need to seriously address the weight issue. I allowed myself to not worry about losing weight and focused only on exercise over the past several weeks. My hope was that by simply working out regularly and practicing solid eating habits I’d see a shift in my weight and, without doing much more than running and eating healthy, I’d also lose a bunch of fat and magically land at 170. What actually happened was that I got a good lesson in eating what my body needs to sustain itself. When I amped up the mileage and regular workouts I started eating to match my caloric output. It was wonderful to learn that maintenance should be a fairly straightforward aspect of my life in the future- as long as running and regular workouts are a regular aspect as well. It’s not disheartening, necessarily, but I am kinda sad I still have to focus on this nutrition thing. Welcome to life, huh?
So, anyways, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I need to figure out how to eat for days when I exercise and days I don’t so I actually start losing some poundage again! I need to kick my butt into gear and start limiting calories again. I’m sooooo resistant because it’s haaaaaard! And, I don’t wanna! It just seems hard right now. That said, I bobbed up to 210-212 a month and a half ago and I’m ready to finally see some movement down. I’m going to fall back on what kicked me into gear many moons ago- I’m going to start with the food diary again. I use the Livestrong MyPlate app for iPad and iPhone. It has a pretty good catalogue of food and has that nice feature for tracking exercise as well. That is always motivating. Whatever it takes to get off this plateau, though. I’m tellin’ ya.

When it’s Time to Change…

The older I get, the more I realize that life is really just like a board game. You’re given this opportunity to travel the board and make decisions as you go. You can quit trying early and just pass go, collect your paycheck as you round the corner and passively surf through, the equivalent of getting really intimate with your remote control and sofa, or you can be proactive about your future and make decisions, play offensively, have great adventures and a varied, full life. Games make things interesting by offering up unique opportunities that you wouldn’t necessarily choose were they not presented to you in an enticing way at just the right time.
I drew a great chance card this year at just the right time: I’ve been given the opportunity to change schools and grade levels with a nice, juicy, fresh start. I decided to jump on it. It’s not easy to leave, but it’s time.
As we make our way around the game board of life we are constantly given choices: take a risk or stay safe. It’s hard to make the choice to step outside of my comfort zone to try something new. Today I was tearful about leaving behind the great community I’ve built around myself, the beautiful children who I sincerely love so much, their marvelous families who support me daily, my amazing, fellow teacher-friends I’ve made there, the para educators who make my classroom and my school complete… I’m going to miss them all so much. I’m going to miss calling it my school. I’ve never stayed put anywhere for that long.
But I sense my greatness is out there again if I just act on the opportunity that’s been presented, so I’m jumping. I did it a few years ago when I walked away from toxic relationships, when we built the house, when I decided to lose weight and when I decided to become a runner. Life has been more interesting after jumping. I’ve learned that taking the risk is often a very, very good thing.
Cheers to fresh starts and new beginnings.

Running in Traffic

20140522-212306.jpg
I make a lot of deals with myself. You may be aware of my most current deals:
*When I get to my goal weight of 170 or less, I get to seriously explore plastic surgery for my tummy.
*When I weigh less than 200 I get eyelash extensions.
But I also make smaller, day-to-day, minute-by-minute kinds of deals. Yesterday the deal I made was for running. We had track practice, then a whole rigmarole of exchanging/losing/picking up/walking children to and fro various play dates, and after all that we were laaaaazy and tuckered out! You know that moment- you look at the other person who might be an appropriate age to make dinner and, with horror, you realize that they are every bit as bushed as you? That moment. And you kinda wanna cry a little because you know that if he feels anything like you do that you cannot, under any circumstances, ask him to make dinner… And if you have to eat one more box of Annie’s Arthur-shaped macaroni and cheese you’re going to go into the ugly cry. Yeah. That moment. That night. So you opt for the store.
I happily stood by the car door, all settled into a trip to the store for easy food when Bradley suggested that I might enjoy a run, instead. Erm. Not so much. I’ll admit that I felt guilty for just happening to overlook the fact that I wasn’t running, so it actually wasn’t a hard sell. I headed back inside to get changed, but made this deal: I would go around the large loop (1.8 miles) as fast as I could, following the route where I would be most likely to see my family on their way back from the store. If I saw them before I got home or if they were in the driveway when I reached the house, I could be done. If they weren’t there and I didn’t see them, I had to add another mile. I was about 1/4 of a mile away from home when guess who drove up?!

I tell you what, it was as if the paparazzi was after me. They slowed down and filmed me while I ran, hollered greetings and affirmations at me and just made me feel like I was really doing something exceptional! I love those people. I ended up with another quick mile (9:04) and a decent cardio workout. I’m looking forward to another good run tomorrow.
I was lucky my family arrived and took pictures, too. I decided to try a different angle for my derpy run pic of the day, and I’m just not good at selfies from the side. Obviously. But I included the picture because that ponytail banged me in the back of the head the whole time I ran. I shan’t be doing that again. And the picture of me in front of the bulletin board? That was my ‘I lurve ya, Baby, and I’m on my way home’ pic of the day and noticed how freaking long my hair is! Wow! Sometimes I just lose track, I guess. I’ve never had hair past my shoulders as patience is a virtue I learned later in life, so I’m continuously surprised by the long hair experiment. I’m glad Gigi talked me into it; it’s been interesting.
***
Tonight we had our Brainworks Museum about pioneers and held the exposition for the families. My kids’ projects and reports turned out absolutely amazing and I was so proud of them. As I left my classroom, I realized that this was the final parent night of the year- after this the year starts winding down and coming to a close. It’s the time when I start to love on my students a whole lot and hang onto them harder for that last little while. It’s the both the best and worst time of the year, where we can ease up a little and laugh a little more, but that also makes me realize how much I’m going to miss seeing their cute little faces every day. I’m always surprised at how vulnerable we all become at this time of year. As a collective and community, we suddenly grow. Makes me miss them more.

Picking Up Speed

20140519-190112.jpg

There was running today. Of course, this was after the working and teaching and hot gluing a million little horses, hay bits and cardboard to the various projects presently in my classroom for our museum on pioneer history. I’ve assisted in two barns, one school, three homesteads, six covered wagons, seeing, cooking and I don’t even know what else in the past three weeks! When Thursday night (the family presentation night) comes and goes, I’ll be one happy teacher!
Today, my fitness goal was simply to run as fast as I could sustain around the ‘medium’ block. It’s only 1.4 miles, but I’m pretty satisfied that I did it and I did it well with an average of 9:54 and a total moving time of 14.5 minutes. I like that I still have a little speed! At one point, Bradley mentioned over his shoulder, that he thought we were supposed to be running faster. I was completely winded and astonished that he couldn’t feel my speed! Nevertheless, I picked up the pace and surged forward, even though I thought I didn’t have it in me. Later, after I saw that I did my first mile in 9:06, I teased that I had proof of my speed, and he admitted that he may have been challenging me! That wily ole fox! LOL! That nine minute mile (or thereabouts) makes me feel pretty happy, though, and I’m glad he lit the fire under me!

Sunday Running Club

20140518-195053.jpg

Today was the first day in what we hope becomes a neighborhood tradition: we texted a bunch of our friends and asked them to meet us at the nearby high school track for some communal laps. Only one other family was able to make it, but it was really nice to chat with my friend while Bradley did the same with her husband and we all ran about four miles. We ran at about 11 minute miles for about 40 minutes. I’m not sure, exactly, because this was one of those magical days where the technology and I didn’t work well together.

20140518-195130.jpg
While there, Gigi practiced her triple jump and all the kids ran a few laps. I feel weird saying I make my kids exercise, but I feel like we force our kids to do vital things like eat vegetables and go to school, I also think that we have parental responsibility to keep their hearts healthy and muscles strong through exercise. Our kids just go for it, now. Jude ran a half mile today and Gigi did 3/4 a mile.
When they aren’t running and we are at the track, our kids play in the sand pits intended for the long jumps, high jumps… All the jumps. We drag along a bag of sand toys and they happily construct sand castles while we wave at them each time we make our way around. With the added benefit of another family at the track, our kids had the best time!
I hope the Sundays in our future are similar to today. I hope our numbers grow and our neighborhood families have one more opportunity to come together as a community.
***
I felt pretty good as I finished out my week as a runner. While I didn’t meet the running schedule as completely as I had hoped, I did up my mileage and run further distance. Today I ran about four miles and I plan on running fast two milers on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. Otherwise I want to run a four miler once or twice and a six mile run on Saturday. We will see what works. This could be a wild week with a track meet on Tuesday, late work night on Thursday and girl’s sleepover on Friday. I’ll do my best!

>

Pushing Mileage

20140517-175030.jpg

I’m not going to lie, this week I did not run as much as I intended. Seriously, spring is a tricky time of year for me. It seems like I make a plan, and then the plan just gets overtaken with the reality of life. I’m okay with this. In a few weeks school will be out in the craziness of the end of the year will be done. Today, however, we were good kids. I knew I wanted to go for a longer run today. First because I skipped two runs this week but secondly because I feel like it’s really important for me to start pushing my mileage up. I’ve decided that my short runs are now going to be 4 miles or greater, which means that my long runs will be between five and 6 miles from now on. It seems scary in theory, but today as I was running I was all the way up to 4.5 miles and still felt like I could’ve pushed further. That just goes to show me that the more I run and the farther I run the more endurance I’m definitely building. I’m proud that I’m able to recognize that I’m ready to add some distance to my run. It feels really good.

20140517-175218.jpg
For a a while I was thinking that my speeds were pretty consistently below 10 minute miles or within the 10 minute mile range. This week I spent some time on Strava going through my running feed and discovered that it was actually pretty rare for me to break below a 10 minute mile last summer, last fall or last spring even. It was good to make that realization as I have been thinking I have been failing as a runner lately. I’ve been feeling slow and so it feels like I backslid. After some reflection time, I realized what was really going on was my fast miles were on really short cardio workouts when I had promised myself that if I went fast I wouldn’t have to go very far,whereas all my slower times are when I’m usually putting some distance under my sneakers. That makes sense- I need to go slower for those endurance runs. That said, I definitely see the value now of time trials, intervals that integrate speed and short, fast runs fairly frequently. I need to time into the Disney Half Marathon, and that has me slightly concerned, but I feel like I’ll get there with lots of regular running and training.
I have decided that I probably will give myself until 2016 before I go to the Disney Half Marathon. That way I don’t have to stress about speed quite as much, quite as quickly. I can take longer and not force it as much, focus on endurance of distance for now. And I believe that I’ll continue to lose weight and the lighter I get the faster I’ll get too.
There’s a run on October 26th fairly close to where I live called the River Run. It’s 13 miles along the Snohomish River, and it seems nice and flat and distractingly beautiful. I’m thinking my birthday gift to myself for my 41st birthday should be this run. I don’t have to register for a while yet, so I can make sure my body can do this thing before I send in my dollars, but I’ll keep you posted. πŸ™‚

20140517-175934.jpg
Yes, I realize now that I had something in my teeth, no I didn’t realize it at the time. Just love that I was smiling through the run today, greeting everyone, with a hunk of breakfast in my face. Nice.

>